Thursday, August 15, 2013

Age is Just a Number

August has been designated "Senior Pets Month" by BlogPaws. With three senior dogs in my pack, I can tell you this is truly a subject near and dear to my heart. While age truly is just a number, it can also be very worrisome at times...

SeniorPetsMonthAug2013

Before I go any further, I must point out the pawsome button/graphic above.  Seriously, could there be anything more appropriate for me and this blog?  It's as if they knew... 

It's sometimes tough for me to admit remember that I have three senior members of the Lapdog pack.  Up until last year, I really only considered Zeus a senior and that was in part due to the arthritis and joint issues he's had for several years.  After all, just looking at the picture below, do these three babies look like seniors to you?  Sure, there's some grey around the muzzles, but Teutul has been grey since he was 3 or 4 (yet he still has perpetual puppy face)... 

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What you can't see in that photos is all of the health issues going on.  The lumps and bumps, the aches and stiffness, the underlying medial issues...    

Zeus is nearing 12 1/2 years old.  As mentioned above, he's had arthritis in his knees for several years.  But even before that, he was diagnosed with "growing pains" (there's actually a technical term, which I forget) as a pup.  Zeus had TPLO surgery in August, 2006 at just 5 years old.  We were supposed to have the second knee done, but I could never bring myself to put him through that ordeal again.  He hobbles around an awful lot now, is on Cosequin DS Plus (after years of various glucosamine / chondroitin / msm supplements) and more recently, I started giving him Tramadol on especially stiff days.  We've been monitoring his liver levels since February, 2012 when they first showed up elevated during a regular check-up.  After several tests to rule out the obvious causes (with no positive results), we continue with daily doses of samE and milk thistle, as well as regular blood checks.  We also manage his "old man cough" with Pepcid.  He's a rather happy, old, lumpy boy! 

Zeus_baby Good Sunday Morning from Zeus  #dogs #sleepy #bigdog #adoptdontshop #dogstagram

Lola hit 11 last month.  I never really looked at my Baby Girl as a "senior" before we were hit out of the blue with her autoimmune issue last December.  We went through not one, but two biopsies that were probably harder on Mommy than her.  Then, she went on a high dose of prednisone that really took everything out of all of us.  Lola became very weak, lost almost all of her muscle mass, and was no where near her happy-go-lucky self.  It was a long road on the prednisone, but we're now weaned down to an every-other-day low dose (and we have a check up next week to see if we can go even lower!).  I can not even begin to express how amazing it was to see her come back to life - literally - as we decreased the dosage.  I am so thankful to have my bouncy, playful, lovable old baby girl back, however I can't help but keep those images of such a weak dog in my mind.  Old age may be slowing her down, but I'm thankful that we seem to have fought the autoimmune issue and got it under control! 

Lola_babyDig My baby girl Lola #dobermanmix #rescue #adoptdontshop #dogstagram #love #dobiemix #beautiful

Teutul will be 10 in October.  My perpetual puppy-faced boy started going grey really early, so it's still hard for me to even consider him a senior... and never mind his obnoxiousness overabundance of energy!  Other than a tooth extraction back in December of 2011 -- :::knock on wood::: -- my younger boy has not had any major health issues.  Paws crossed that we keep it that way.  I still can't believe he's hitting double digits in two months!

Teutul_babybed Cuddly, Smiley LapHound... #dogstagram #adoptdontshop #rescue #hound #lapdog #happydog #love

Do you have senior members of your pack?  If so, make sure you check out all of the tips, articles and excitement going on over at BlogPaws this month! 

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7 comments:

Molly The Wally said...

We saw that the other day. It is sad to think of them as seniors but with Pip being 16 plus there is no escaping it. We still love her and all her old ailments. Have a tremendous Thursday.
Best wishes Molly

Amy said...

All three dogs look so healthy and happy. It's a shame they are having some health issues but sounds like you have all of them in the best of care.

Sue said...

It's impossible that my puppies are going to be seven this year. All the Porties are eating senior food now along with Morgan. They'll always be puppies to me.

Marjie said...

How about if we say they're just "no longer spring chickens"? Then we don't have to admit that they're aging. It's like Sue said, they're always puppies to us. Remember when I put Thor on the "pudgy puppy diet" when he was having more trouble getting up? Yeah, he was 9 then. Yours still have some really happy faces.

SissySees said...

Great post! And thanks for reminding me that Tut has been grey longer than I've known him. Sissy is greying fast, and the vet keeps laughing at me and saying I should be happy that the dog is the one greying prematurely!

SlimDoggy said...

I know just how you feel. Our 'puppies' Sally & Tino started turning into seniors in 2005...they have since passed, but we've adopted all seniors from then on. Jack & Maggie are kind of youngsters at @ nine...but starting to see those lumps & bumps and grey hairs. Still, seniors are the bet - love them to pieces. You've got a great crew there.

Michelle Liew said...

Hi to all 3!! They'relooking good!

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